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Jesse J. Kaplan School

The Jesse J. Kaplan School offers a stimulating learning environment for students ages 5-21 with autism, cognitive disabilities, medical fragility and/or multiple disabilities. Students reach their potential in a school that blends high educational standards, nursing services and therapies.

School-Wide Academic Program Features:

  • Student goals are derived from team meetings that include parent input
  • Data-driven teaching strategies are tailored to meet the individual needs of each student
  • Curriculum includes sight word, phonics and balanced literacy programs; multi-sensory and functional math programs; handwriting programs; weekly art and music instruction; and, adaptive physical education that includes swimming
  • An array of assistive technologies, such as Tap-it® boards, iPads and augmentative communication devices, are integrated with instruction
  • Research-based methodologies, including Applied Behavior Analysis, PROMPT, Picture Exchange Communication System, discrete trial teaching and functional behavioral analysis, are implemented by a highly trained staff
  • Specialized programs meet the unique needs of each student:
    • VISTA (Visual Instruction and Structured Teaching for Students with Autism and Learning Challenges) is an individualized program that focuses on social behavior, communication and academics. Students follow daily schedules using objects, pictures or words and learn at individual work stations. Program highlights include principles of learning, structured teaching and visual instruction, Applied Behavior Analysis, augmentative and alternative communication, social scripts, activity schedules and self-regulation programming.
    • The Technological Exploration of Augmentative Communication via Movement and Structure (TEAMS) program provides integrative therapies and education through an interdisciplinary approach for students with severe and multiple disabilities. The program focuses on developing communication skills and improving or maintaining physical status (MOVE) through learning centers which include fine motor, sensory, literacy, vision and vocational as appropriate. A variety of classroom-wide and individual devices are included. This innovative approach ensures a comprehensive instructional plan for students with complex educational and medical needs.
    • The Social Communication Program focuses on communication, social behavior, self-regulation and academics. A rich, visually-supported environment ensures maximum independence for each student.
    • The Kaplan Community Development Center (KCDC) is a community-based vocational program designed to prepare students for the transition from school to adult life. Students work on mastering a variety of vocational, social and communication skills to allow them to function as responsible, contributing workers in the community. An academic program is balanced with activities of daily living, work, and community skills. Assistance is provided to families for the transition to adult services.

Student Profile:

Students ages 5-21 with autism, developmental disabilities, medical fragility and/or multiple disabilities who require a center-based program. All Kaplan students are alternately assessed.


Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), ACCES-VR and Mental Health Association of Rockland